War Hammer | Valkyrie Brewing

107 Ratings
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Valkyrie Brewing
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SheepNutz on 05-21-2002

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 107 |  Reviews: 87
Photo of drpimento
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a fine tight dark head, tiny bit of lace. Almost opaque dark brown. Light aroma. Creamy mouth, roasty nutty, coffee, toffee, yummy decent brew. Drinkable. Good finish. Carbonated just right for the style. Not a summer beer. Perhaps almost a session beer.

 265 characters

Photo of EliteDigger
3.07/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this a couple years ago at the Great Taste and I thought it was pretty good. Tried it again the next year and it was just ok. Hadn't had it for awhile so when I saw some, I bought a single at Rileys....
A- Dark body with almost no head to speak of. Small ring of tiny bubbles around the edge of glass.
S-Weak coffee, some chocolate, cardboard(?) and that's about it.
T-Two words-Watered down. Stale coffee, bittersweet chocolate, slight sweetness and that's about it.... unimpressive to say the least.
M-With almost zero carbonation the mouthfeel suffers incredibly. Feel like I'm drinking thick water.
D-I'm sure you could drink these all day...if you wanted to. But one is almost one too many.
Maybe I got a bad bottle... I sure hope that's the case. I'll probably give it a try again in another couple years but am extremely disappointed.

 845 characters

Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown stubby bottle into a pint glass.

Wow, this name is pretty accurate, it feels just like I'm drinking milk here. There's some cocoa and roasted oat and barley flavors, but the overall flavor seems a touch empty, or rather, tasting like skim milk. Kinda weird and kinda cool all at once, I'm glad I tried it.

 326 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle t a pint glass the liquid id very dark with very good carbonation. The head is dark tan or coffee mocha, a big fast 3 fingers that fades fast leaving very little lace.

The smell is slightly roasty and a tad fruity.

The taste follows a faint roasty malt gives way to some ok fruity and caramel notes. The hops are light and don't make much of a statement.

The mouthfeel is good. Medium body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is good, easy drinking with some very light yet interesting flavor profile, I would like to try it again.

Big thanks to objectivemonkey for this brew. Prosit MK

 622 characters

Photo of Pitmonkey
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured with excessive carbonation, with foam overflowing my glass before I got to the 3/4 mark. Huge head dissolves into a low cap made of up fairly large bubbles which further fades to a tiny ring of fine bubbles at the very edge of the glass.

The color is black with no light penetration. When I hold a high powered flashlight up next to the glass I get some deep red coming through and it looks creepily like the Eye of Sauron.

The smell is wonderful coffee and deeply roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is overwhelmed by carbonation, big bubbles popping all over, but as that subsides the flavors of coffee, heavily roasted malt, sweetness and some alcohol notes, the finish is of pleasant lingering coffee and sweetness. Every sip immediately turns to foam as it hits my tongue.

I have always liked this porter and look forward to it every time. I do not recall this level of carbonation in the past, but this is the first time I have consumed it with an eye toward reviewing. I am scoring drinkability lower because I only ever want one before moving on, but I really enjoy that one. This is a big flavorful beer and definitely the best "breakfast" beer I have come across. If they could only work eggs and bacon into the mix...

 1,231 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, rileys

appearance: pours into a bell's pint glass - big black body with a creamy chocolate head and little lacing

smell: creamy and roasty, trace dark fruits, raisins, dry coffee grounds and bakers chocolate, nice and rich

taste: dark roasted malt, raisin and plum, dates, dry chocolate, coffee grounds, doughy (or is that cardboard?). pretty standard porter

mouthfeel: creamy, but a little light feeling

drinkability: good

 441 characters

Photo of dogger6253
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real dark, thick body - almost black. No head at all, just a thin ring around the glass.

Smell is nice: coffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bits of alcohol mixed in as well.

Really watered down taste...some nice coffee and chocolate flavor, but not very pronounced or developed.

Lightly carbonated, medium body. It's really easy to sip, but not really impressive in most respects.

 387 characters

Photo of soulgrowl
4.21/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Thick, blackish coffee brown with an impossibly pathetic toasted marshmallow tan head. Impressively sloshy and sticky in the glass, but the head (or lack thereof) unfortunately keeps me from rating this above average.

Smell: Luscious mocha, swirls of dark chocolate fudge, brownies, teacher's lounge coffee, cola, and light burnt toast notes. Reminiscent of tiramisu. Exactly how you want a "coffee, oatmeal, milk" porter to smell: rich and bittersweet.

Taste: Nutty and sweet, a quilt of coffee, milk chocolate, baker's chocolate, and plain oatmeal. Remarkably crisp and bright on the palate, almost like a Schwarzbier. Finish hits with some tangy, floral hop bitterness followed by a generous aftertaste of coffee.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, with initially rough-and-tumble bubbles that lend a sharp airiness to the beer. Effervescence gradually subsides to allow the thick, sticky, malty body to coat the mouth.

Drinkability: Hell yes. Easily adds up to any other like-minded brew. No Mackesons XXX or Barney Flats, but damn good and damn drinkable, especially for something so stout.

 1,104 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Labe says "Unpasterized: Keep it cool!"

Pours as a buh-lack midnight ink light encasing dark black allowing no light out topped with a scant skim razor thin layer of khaki foam.

Deep scents of roasted malt and sweet brown sugar with some vanilla ice cream hints. Focused nose.

First swigs: Tangy milk and baker's chocolate initial front leads to a chocolate milk and baker's chocolate bitter drink. Seems to revolve around the bitter above all else. Slight funky twinge.

Feel is quite bitter like a big double stout. Leaves a residue of tobacco leaf bitterness behind.

Last swigs: Interesting porter that may need some more development. No dates on the bottle.

 676 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was my first introduction to the Viking brewery, I had a 22 oz. around 3 years ago. It was really memorable at the time...

This review is from a 12 oz., purchased yesterday in Madison. Clever label with black & white cowhide, and a strip of 3 rear-view cows.

Pours a completely opaque black, slightly dark brown at the edge where it meets the foam. Initial pour results in a finger of tan mocha foam that is very appetizing. The foam disappears after a few minutes.

Smell is very mild, there's a lactic sourness and dark roasted malt after a swirl of the glass.

Taste has all the right elements, coffee, roasty malt, and chocolate. But it seems out of balance with an artificial plastic note in the first few sips. Nice roast coffee & chocolate aftertaste. It seems pretty light and thin for a Porter even, like a watered down Stout.

It's a decent offering, it just could use more body and have a cleaner presence on the palate. The 22oz. I had so long ago seemed much better by comparison.

 1,008 characters

Photo of ppoitras
2.57/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle received via GIF8 from stewdawg. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a minimal 1/8" brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is quickly down to an uneven film, with average lacing. Aroma is coffee with a lactic tartness. Taste is worty, coffee malty yet thin, with a touch of tartness and a chalky close. Mouthfeel is thin and undercarbonated, and drinkability is actually more like flatish soda than beer. Won't be looking too hard for this one again, unfortunately.

 532 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
2.8/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"A Coffee, Oatmeal, Milk Porter", so states the label.
Pours almost black with literally no head at all.
Aroma is bitter chocolate and roasted dark malts.
Flavor is coffee ground bitterness with hints of chocolate and some definite citrus hop bitterness overpowering what could be smooth.
Mouthfeel is a little thin for the style and hops overpower what should be predominately roasted dark malts.
Also there seems to be a milk or lactose sourness to this brew.
Doesn't really fit into the American Porter catagory, IMHO.

 527 characters

Photo of Scoobydank
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A:little to no head. What was there is a light brown shade. Very dark black when looking at it in a glass.
S: Roasted coffee beans with a tiny bit of milk chocolate
T:A good dark coffee taste. A nice dark roasted malt flavor lingered on the sides of my mouth for a bit.
M:Because of the light tiny bubbles, this had the feel of a milky creamy mouth feel.
D:I think this a very drinkable Porter. Had some great character, not hot, so very approachable.

 455 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours black with a very thin brown head even with a vigorous pour.

S - Burnt coffee, some lactic sourness, vanilla and roasted malt.

T - Heavy sourness and burnt coffee. The sourness is over powering and makes it hard to find other flavors.

M - Thin

D - Not a horrible beer but it needs to loose the sourness. Not one I will try again.

 351 characters

Photo of Erdinger2003
2.02/5  rDev -44%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer's head fades very fast and barely leaves a lacing. The smell is roasty and coffee-like. The taste was like cold coffee and very disgusting. The mouthfeel was pretty smooth and nice. But overall I would never ever try this again. I might not even have another Viking Brew.

 281 characters

Photo of badbeer
4.27/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out black with a tan head that stays pretty well and leaves nice lacing throughout the glass. Smell is a bit chocolatey and roasty, but it has a very light smell to it. Taste starts out light, but quickly hits you with a light chocolate and coffee-like flavors. Mouthfeel is just so smooth and rich with a heavier than medium body and real light carbonation on the tongue. Another excellent beer from the folks at Viking; you've found yourselves a new customer!

 467 characters

Photo of Mdog
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Completely opaque black even when held to light, no head to speak of.

Smell: Multiple snorts only give a slight coffee aroma.

Taste: Strong bitter coffee sweetened with a little chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy.

Drinkability: I don't drink coffee but I don't mind coffee flavors in beer, pretty good.

Picked up a couple Viking brews that I'd had before. This had a lot more coffee flavor than I remembered but is one of Viking's better offerings. Probably one of the few that I would pick up a 4 pack from them.

 541 characters

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass, pours black with little head to begin with, then nothing, a bit of lacing. Aroma is slightly bittersweet, but slightly sour, like the milk went bad. And if there is coffee in here its faint, cause all I"m smelling thats good is butterscotch cookies. I'm not really a fan of this, just comes off awkward and goofy.

Taste makes a bit more sense, the porter characteristics coming through, that funny butterscotch makes an appearance toward the end. But again, sour. Its not making anything here bad per se, just.. well, odd. Its a strange duck, but somehow I actually kind of like it. Mouth is pretty decent, though any carbonation is sorely lacking, but taht makes it rather smooth. All in all, not bad, but not again.

Now, this is about the third Viking brew I've had in the past week, and besides the Lime thinger, the disturbing theme is this sour funk in them all, and I wonder if they're having problems lately, cuase I've had Viking brews before and wasn't turned off. Hmm... Maybe, if I hear that they really do have quality control issues or something, I'll give their line another go.

 1,117 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black coffee black topped by a coffee-with-cream colored head that is a scant one finger in height, even after a somewhat vigorous pour. It looks like carbonation (as in 'a lack of') might be an issue. The bubbly foam is already approaching extinction and no lace graces the glass. Good looking beer though.

I like the nose quite a bit. It smells like fudge brownies studded with butterscotch bits and flecks of vanilla bean. Even though the brewery calls this beer 'a coffee, oatmeal and milk porter', I can't say that I appreciate the java. Why don't they just call it a breakfast porter and be done with it? Anyway, the aroma, while different and probably not everyone's cup of joe, is very nice.

So that's where the coffee went. Odd that it isn't more prominent in the nose. The flavor profile consists of roasted coffee grounds with a bitterness that tastes like it was born of citric hops. The reason that I don't love Whole Stein is a quality that I've noticed in other Viking offerings; namely, a close to overbearing lactic sourness.

I don't mind that characteristic in most porters, in fact I think it adds flavor interest in many cases, I just don't like it to be present to quite this degree. It tastes like curdled cream was added to my breakfast coffee (even though I don't drink coffee, never have and never will). Some of the diacetyl butterscotchiness is still present, although it doesn't work quite as well within the somewhat scattershot flavor profile.

The body/mouthfeel isn't bad for a porter, with one exception. Given the look on the pour, I wasn't expecting much carbonation and that is exactly what I got (or didn't get). Even though it isn't completely flat, the beer lacks any sort of life in the mouth and is, obviously, the poorer for it. This isn't the first Viking beer to suffer this fate. I'm wondering if the boys from Dallas might have some quality control issues.

Whole Stein (Holstein. Milk porter. Get it?) is an interesting beer, but not an especially good one. I get the feeling that something might have gone wrong with this particular batch, but the fact that I've had similar problems with this brewery in the past makes me think that they have bigger issues. The next time I make the trek up to Madison, I'll grab another bottle and give Whole Stein another go round.

 2,328 characters

Photo of ryantupy
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a very loght bodied beer that was great in the morning. It pours a dark coffee black color with a very small head. It smlled of smokiness with a hint of sweetness. Maybe even a little bit of coffee in there to. It tasted pretty good and enjoyable it was very smooth and had a creamy kinda mouthfeel to it. I would definatly give this beer another shot. While it definatly is not my favorite of its style it is worth another shot.

 438 characters

Photo of terrabyte
1.54/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours dark black, with a large brown head. The head disappeared completely, and there's no lacing.

Has a very sour smell to it. Reminds me of cheap wine left open after a day.

The flavor is... well, the mouthfeel is too distracting to tell. There's no carbonation. It's completely limp. It seems like a weak wine, even the aftertaste. Hints of sour grapes. There are some milk stout flavors with some oats. But it's very mute, and quite changed without the carbonation.

I'll have to revisit this review at a later date if I run into more beers like this, or find out it went flat or bad on me.

 604 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a two finger brown head that fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Burnt chocolate nose. Burnt chocolate flavor but smooth, finish has some bitterness but not from hops. $1.59 for a 12oz bottle from Blue Max Liquor Burnsville, Mn.

 289 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours sort of thin. Almost midnight black with hints of brown amber when the light hits. Head is very small, dark roasted marshmallow color.

S: Grape notes, lactose, ground coffee and a bit of vanilla.

T: Iced coffee, cola and butterscotch right at the fore front. From there lactose becomes very apparent mixed with oatmeal sweetness. Bit doughy, like a fresh cinnamon roll. Finishes very sweet with some delicate bitter roasted notes.

M: Medium body, decent carbonation.

D: Good beer, definately on the sweet side. Enjoyable.

 542 characters

Photo of demcorhip
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is today's breakfast.

This beer poured a thick opaque black, seems even darker than the oatmeal stout i had last night. A thin tan head formed on the pour which quickly left me with fine lacings.

Oatmeal and cream rise up to great my nose. Other scents of toffee and coffee are present as well.

There must be a decent amount of oats in here, as they play a strong role in the taste of this brew. Creamy oats are noticed first then toffee. Then a coffee (+ hop?) bitterness comes through. All the named elements are there to be noticed.

This is a creamy and velvety porter, and its making a satisfying breakfast. Suppose if it was more substantial they could have called this a stout. The bitterness from the coffee, roasted malts and hops nicely balance this brew. Very lightly carbonated like the other Viking offering I've had (the Copperhead).

I'd have to say thi sis making a nice breakfast brew, although i dont think i'd stick with this one to drink throughout the day. That said, however, it is light and tasty enough to easily knock a couple of these back. Ill have to remember this one. Would make a great camping/festival/party weekend breakfast brew in the morning hours.

 1,253 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed April 9, 2005. Bottle at the Gitchee Gumee Brewfest 2005. Strong aromas of fresh ground decaf coffee. The flavor continues this run, but adds some very creamy milk and nuts to this combo, to create an interesting mix. Unfortunately, it loses some on the back end with a watery ending.

 304 characters

War Hammer from Valkyrie Brewing
3.61 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.